Willie

Willie Sawyers, publisher

1. Who will win the race for London City Council?

That race is difficult to call because there are so many good candidates running. And all of them are campaigning very hard.

The two incumbents, Danny Phelps and Bill Dezarn, probably are a safe bet to win re-election. They’ve served the council well for years. The remaining four spots are up for grabs.

Two former city councilpersons, Nancy Vaughn and Barbara Cox are also on the ballot. Both left the council on previous occasions to run for mayor.

This is probably the best city council field in history. Any of the 12 on the ballot will make a fine representative for the city. That’s a credit to London and the progressive attitude it fosters. It encourages well-qualified people to run for public office.

To sort out the council race, we are running a special political section in Friday’s paper and asking all the candidates their stance on three important issues facing the city: A proposed smoking ban, a proposed restaurant tax and the fiscal responsibility of city leaders.

It will make for interesting reading about a very interesting race.

2. Is there a rift between Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson and Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher?

Not according to Johnson and other members of the local Republican Party.

“The governor has no problem with me, nor I with him,” Johnson said Monday.

Some Republicans were miffed when Johnson was seen leaving a recent campaign rally at the fairgrounds just as the governor was about to speak. They also were upset because Johnson was seen at a Democratic rally, then declined to put his photo in a campaign “team” photo that ran several times in the paper.

Johnson admitted that he left the rally before Fletcher’s speech was over. But he said he had a private meeting with the governor before speaking began.

“The reports saying that I left before the governor got there are not true,” he said. “I had a private conversation with him.”

Johnson said he saw nothing wrong with a Republican party officer attending a Democratic rally. Many Democrats vote for him in the general election, he said, and there’s no good reason not to show up at their functions.

Johnson said he also has Democratic ties in this election because he’s related to sheriff’s candidate Fred Yaden.

When asked about his absence in the Republican “team” photo, Johnson wouldn’t comment on the record.

3. What do you think about all the negative campaign ads?

I think they are way out of hand. Elections nowadays are nothing more than smear campaigns. Candidates rarely talk about issues, opting instead to trash their opponents.

And the trash is piling higher and higher.

Here at the paper, we take a close look at political ads and letters to the editor to make sure any accusations are based on fact.

If we are unsure of the facts ourselves, we ask the person placing the ad or letter to provide proof that accusations and negative items are factual. Several ads and letters have been modified as a result of this policy.

It’s just our way of making sure no one blasts away at a candidate without proof or reason. It keeps the garbage down.

4. What happened to the political forum on the Sentinel’s Web page?

The community forum at sentinel-echo.com was a very popular place for people to post comments about the election.

But we completely redesigned our Web site a few weeks ago and the forum that we were using was no longer practical. It was outdated and prone to misuse by hackers.

We have a spot on our new site for a community forum and we are currently evaluating what type of forum to offer.

In the meantime, our letters to the editor section has been extremely hot with campaign letters.



Make sure you exercise your right to vote next Tuesday. 1. Who will win the race for London City Council?

That race is difficult to call because there are so many good candidates running. And all of them are campaigning very hard.

The two incumbents, Danny Phelps and Bill Dezarn, probably are a safe bet to win re-election. They’ve served the council well for years. The remaining four spots are up for grabs.

Two former city councilpersons, Nancy Vaughn and Barbara Cox are also on the ballot. Both left the council on previous occasions to run for mayor.

This is probably the best city council field in history. Any of the 12 on the ballot will make a fine representative for the city. That’s a credit to London and the progressive attitude it fosters. It encourages well-qualified people to run for public office.

To sort out the council race, we are running a special political section in Friday’s paper and asking all the candidates their stance on three important issues facing the city: A proposed smoking ban, a proposed restaurant tax and the fiscal responsibility of city leaders.

It will make for interesting reading about a very interesting race.

2. Is there a rift between Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson and Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher?

Not according to Johnson and other members of the local Republican Party.

“The governor has no problem with me, nor I with him,” Johnson said Monday.

Some Republicans were miffed when Johnson was seen leaving a recent campaign rally at the fairgrounds just as the governor was about to speak. They also were upset because Johnson was seen at a Democratic rally, then declined to put his photo in a campaign “team” photo that ran several times in the paper.

Johnson admitted that he left the rally before Fletcher’s speech was over. But he said he had a private meeting with the governor before speaking began.

“The reports saying that I left before the governor got there are not true,” he said. “I had a private conversation with him.”

Johnson said he saw nothing wrong with a Republican party officer attending a Democratic rally. Many Democrats vote for him in the general election, he said, and there’s no good reason not to show up at their functions.

Johnson said he also has Democratic ties in this election because he’s related to sheriff’s candidate Fred Yaden.

When asked about his absence in the Republican “team” photo, Johnson wouldn’t comment on the record.

3. What do you think about all the negative campaign ads?

I think they are way out of hand. Elections nowadays are nothing more than smear campaigns. Candidates rarely talk about issues, opting instead to trash their opponents.

And the trash is piling higher and higher.

Here at the paper, we take a close look at political ads and letters to the editor to make sure any accusations are based on fact.

If we are unsure of the facts ourselves, we ask the person placing the ad or letter to provide proof that accusations and negative items are factual. Several ads and letters have been modified as a result of this policy.

It’s just our way of making sure no one blasts away at a candidate without proof or reason. It keeps the garbage down.

4. What happened to the political forum on the Sentinel’s Web page?

The community forum at sentinel-echo.com was a very popular place for people to post comments about the election.

But we completely redesigned our Web site a few weeks ago and the forum that we were using was no longer practical. It was outdated and prone to misuse by hackers.

We have a spot on our new site for a community forum and we are currently evaluating what type of forum to offer.

In the meantime, our letters to the editor section has been extremely hot with campaign letters.



Make sure you exercise your right to vote next Tuesday.

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